Arrested Yemeni reporter critical of coalition is released

SANAA, Yemen — A Yemeni journalist critical of the Saudi-led coalition waging war on the country's Shiite rebels was released Monday, just hours after his detention in the port city of Aden, officials said.

According to the officials, Fathy bin Lazrq, the editor-in-chief of Aden Al Ghad newspaper, was arrested earlier on Monday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The newspaper, citing a witness, reported that bin Lazrq was driving a car when the authorities arrested him. The coalition has been at war with Yemen's Houthis since March 2015 on behalf of the country's internationally recognized government.

Bin Lazrq is known for his online posts and articles critical of the Saudi-led coalition. In a recent post, he accused the coalition of failing to provide basic services and contended that reports of the coalition providing millions of dollars in aid were allegedly untrue.

Coalition forces are based in Aden, while the Houthi rebels have been in control of the capital, Sanaa, since September 2014.

The coalition has faced criticism for its campaign of airstrikes that has killed civilians and destroyed hospitals and markets while the Houthis have been accused of using land mines, killing and wounding civilians. They have also targeted religious minorities and imprisoned opponents.

The United Nations considers war-torn Yemen the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The impoverished country has been pushed to the brink of famine by the stalemated three-year civil war.

The conflict has also left around two-thirds of Yemen's population of 27 million relying on aid, and over 8 million at risk of starving.

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